DailyDirt: The Progress Of Treating HIV
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The US Center for Disease Control reported on its first case of AIDS (though it wasn't called AIDS at the time) in 1981. Some HIV-positive patients have since gained access to anti-viral drugs that hold off the fatal complications for many more years than it was previously thought possible. There are over 34 million people in the world who are HIV-positive, and there are some optimistic reports that the treatments are becoming more effective. Here are just a few fascinating stories on the development of HIV treatments.
- A baby born in Mississippi with HIV has been "functionally cured" after receiving an aggressive regimen of anti-retroviral drugs.. a discovery that occurred when the treatment was inadvertently stopped after 18 months. There have been some scattered reports of other babies who have been cleared of HIV, but this is the first case that will be rigorously studied with highly sensitive genetic tests. [url]
- A generation of HIV-positive youngsters are beginning to live into adulthood, but the long-term effects of HIV (and the medicines to treat it) are completely unexplored territory. Studying these kids for many decades could determine optimal medical regimes and shape how society handles patients who need indefinite treatment. [url]
- The "Berlin Patient" (aka Timothy Ray Brown) is the first known person to defeat HIV. After a bone marrow transplant to treat (unrelated) leukemia, Brown recovered, and doctors found that his HIV levels were at undetectable amounts.. and remained so without anti-viral drugs. [url]
- Some people have a genetic mutation that prevents HIV from infecting their white blood cells, making them immune to the virus. The specific mutation was identified in 1996, but the discovery hasn't (yet) lead to a universal vaccine. [url]